Research shows that milk is one of the best beverages for hydration, even better than water or sports drinks. Researchers credit milk's natural electrolytes, carbohydrates, and protein for its effectiveness.
The fastest way to hydrate is with an oral rehydration solution. These products are packed with electrolytes which are minerals found in your body that balance fluid levels and maintain optimal hydration. While you can hydrate fast with regular water, focus on electrolytes.
Milk is more hydrating than water
For example, milk was found to be even more hydrating than plain water because it contains the sugar lactose, some protein and some fat, all of which help to slow the emptying of fluid from the stomach and keep hydration happening over a longer period.
Chugging large quantities of water isn't hydrating you any more than if you sip it slowly. It can seem like you're being proactive by gulping down a large amount of water before beginning some extraneous exercise.
Start hydrating at breakfast with a serving of plain yogurt which, surprisingly, is around 85% to 88% water. The fuller-fat varieties are the best option, full of potassium and sodium that can replenish electrolytes when your body's in need.
In general, however, it usually takes about two hours for your body to rehydrate fully after drinking a significant amount of water. As for how you should rehydrate, water is the best choice. Sports drinks, such as Gatorade, can be helpful for athletes who need to replenish electrolytes.
Not sure if you're dehydrated? One of the easiest ways to tell is by checking the color of your urine. If it looks clear or pale yellow, then you're drinking enough water. But if your urine is a darker yellow or an amber color, then it's time to hydrate.
Drinking at least 20.3oz or 600ml of water has been found to quell the effects of mild dehydration in just 45 minutes. This is how much water it takes to recover from this dehydration type that commonly affects a lot of people.
Fruits and vegetables can help with hydration [a banana is 74% water!] and provide healthful nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein. So for elite athletes – or those just trying to stay fit – a diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, including bananas, is important for performing at your best!
Gatorade, because of its electrolyte content, helps to restore the lost electrolytes and keep a person hydrated, during intense activity. It can also replace electrolytes, during times of illness, such as stomach viruses.
It hydrates you
This myth comes from a study funded by Gatorade that found people who drank their product were better hydrated than if they drank water—but only because they drank more fluids. If you drank the same volume of water versus Gatorade, you'd be equally hydrated.
Some people may feel like they are getting hydrated after they drink a soda, but it is often due to the perceived boost they get from caffeine and carbohydrates in the soda. Sodas are mostly water, and the body does use that water as best it can to hydrate.
Best Overall: Gatorade
The levels of electrolytes (sodium and potassium) are moderate and sensible with 160 mg of sodium and 45mg of potassium per 12 fluid ounce serving. You can also find Gatorade varieties with higher sodium, zero sugar or no calories depending on your needs.
Magnesium also acts as an electrolyte. It works with other electrically charged minerals like sodium and potassium to support proper hydration. That's why you'll often find it included in electrolyte drink mixes like Hydrant.
Other tips for staying hydrated include the following: Drink when you first wake up. Drink about 30 minutes before every meal, including breakfast. Keep water with you in a reusable bottle throughout the day to make drinking water a habit.
Magnesium is one of the essential electrolytes needed for efficient hydration. A few magnesium stars include leafy green vegetables, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, brown rice, avocado, beans, raw cacao, edamame and seaweed.
You might have an electrolyte imbalance: Electrolyte imbalances are one of the most common reasons you might feel dehydrated even after drinking tons of water: “Sometimes if we drink a lot of water but we don't take in enough fruits and vegetables, our electrolytes—sodium, potassium, magnesium, chloride, etc.